Xavier Durochat, Head of Learning, Change & Digital Transformation at BNP Paribas, spoke recently with Learnlight about the corporate learning challenges HR and L&D professionals are facing to engage with modern learners. The interview took place during a Round Table Learnlight organized in Paris where Xavier and two other exceptional speakers from Orange and AXA shared their experience of corporate learning in the digital age. The speakers offered insights on how HR and Learning professionals can adapt their training strategies to meet the needs of today’s impatient, overwhelmed and distracted Modern Learners

How is the phenomenon of the Modern Learner impacting corporate learning?

The learner is a consumer…and the consumer, what they want is collaboration. They want transparency. They say, I want to learn when I want, what I want. So we speak about video, we see short formats. 

Round Table: The Modern Learner

How the Modern Learner is changing the face of corporate learning

It’s them [the modern learner] who give us the line and the vision. They are hermits in their personal lives, they want the same in their corporate [lives] And if they don’t want [to learn at work] they will learn outside of the company. We have to follow [their lead] and adapt.

What advice would you give HR and Learning professionals to help them work effectively with Modern Learners?

It’s complex, it is very complex because you have many people who have been working in learning for many years who have some habits and they have to accept change. Because the world is changing. They have to accept [that they must] be more flexible.

They have to accept that controlling is not the best way. They have to accept to give more, to put people at the center of the knowledge. People who have knowledge can share it. So put your consumer or your collaborator at the center. It’s more important. 

Should Learning and Development trust learners to work within this framework?

In many companies, you used to have Knowledge Management, which existed but was in a silo. And I’m sure that tomorrow, it will be a platform which integrates knowledge and learning. And learning will be at the service of knowledge. And at that moment, you will have a big corporate learning solution which should be digital, which is mobile, and lets people be at the center of the system. So at this moment, we will be a learning company, because we will learn by ourselves. 

Round Table: The Modern Learner

How the Modern Learner is changing the face of corporate learning

What’s the future for any company that wishes to survive and compete? 

A dynamic learning culture and the service [of] Learning and Development will help to implement this culture; to improve it, to market it, but also to give access to an external platform or to make some open learning to support and to enrich the corporate learning culture

How important are events like today for your colleagues in Learning and Development?

It’s vital because in fact today I was here, I was a speaker, but in fact, I learned a lot of things because my peers asked me questions and when they ask me a question, I’m thinking about that. 

What’s the one thing that you have taken away from today’s Round Table?

I’m sure that in transformation we have to develop soft skills. My problem is a technical problem, the networks. I hear what Orange said [here today], I heard the questions of some people and I have to reinvent and to find the solution, to create some solutions like that, because in transformation we have to work on soft skills and if we are not working on that then, we’ll fail.